Pay tribute to the musical innovators of the early 20th century and find out how they took on racial prejudice and economic hardship to reach the top.
The Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum tracks the city’s rich musical history, from the 1930s to present day. Its exhibits have all types of memorabilia, including costumes and instruments that belonged to the artists. Visit the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum to consider the remarkable worldwide influence of musicians from Memphis across the 20th century.
Embark on tour using a digital audio guide for additional context behind the displays. The audio offering also contains more than 100 songs. Delve into the seven galleries and watch various films about Memphis music history. Across the exhibits, you’ll find about 30 instruments and 40 costumes of old performers. Listen to some of your old favorites on classic jukeboxes.
Learn about so-called field holler music, which was historically sung by enslaved African Americans. The sharecroppers, who toiled at the farms of private landowners in the early 1900s, also played a role in the development of porch music and the origins of the blues. Think about the roots of country and gospel music in the region. Urban blues and jazz then started to become part of the iconic Beale Street sound.
Browse the items for sale in the Museum Store, which is packed with T-shirts, cups and bags adorned with the museum’s logo. Attend one of the events organized in this popular establishment.
The Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum opens Wednesdays through Sundays, from morning until evening. There is a fee to enter, with discounts for youths. The complex was created by the Smithsonian Institution in 2000 to commemorate its 150th anniversary.
The museum is located in the FedExForum entertainment complex at the heart of the Downtown Memphis zone. Get to the Memphis Tennessee Central railway station and walk north for about 15 minutes to reach the complex. While you’re here, drop in at the nearby Memphis Music Hall of Fame, the Clayborn Temple and the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art.